We reflect on some of our highlights and achievements
This week it’s our birthday! It’s been 9 years since the launch of the Student Beans website on 21st June 2005, back when the Crazy Frog song was number one and Mr and Mrs Smith was the film of the summer.
A lot has happened since then, so our Founders James and Michael Eder have taken a little time to reflect on some of our highlights and achievements from the last 9 years. Thanks for being part of the journey so far!
1. Pounding the streets of Birmingham, selling the Student Beans idea before it even existed. Founders James and Michael Eder started out going door to door in Birmingham speaking to local businesses and getting them to agree to offering a student discount that would be listed on the Student Beans website (which didn’t even exist yet!) By the time launch day came around, over 200 businesses were on board and this gave us the platform to launch nationally in 18 cities the following year.
2. Hiring our first employee was a huge responsibility, and also a privilege. In September 2006, Alex did a placement with us as part of his year in industry. He was involved in signing up some of our biggest national partners and jumping inside the ‘Bean suit’ to be our mascot! We now have a team of over 40 that spans across business development, editorial, client services, web development, design, marketing and more. And we’re still recruiting - check out our jobs board.
3. Hitting 1 million. Two key milestones that stick out in our minds was signing up our millionth member on Student Beans and getting a million visits to the website in one month. In the last year we’ve smashed those numbers again - every month we get millions of visits to the site with students connecting with us for our offers, jobs and editorial. We aim to make their student life a little more awesome.
4. Winning Digital Business of the Year in 2013 was a great honour and testament to all our hard work. For us as a business, digital isn’t just part of our strategy it’s our way of life and it was an honour to be recognised for our digital innovations such as The National Online Freshers Fair and Student Beans iD.
5. The big move into new offices. Last November we moved to shiny new offices in Kentish Town, enabling the whole team to work together in the same space and helping us to continue to expand both in size and reach. The design style of the office creates a fun and vibrant working environment that reflects our brand and company values. Meeting rooms including Fairground, Space and Brainstorm are where the ideas happen!
6. Going mobile and winning. This year we officially extended the Student Beans brand to mobile with a brand new app for iOS, Student Beans iD, which launched in January 2014. The app allows users to discover and unlock student discounts in their local area and acts as a digital student ID. It was developed and built by our in-house team and we were very proud to win a Media Innovation Award 2014 for our mobile efforts. An Android and Windows version of the app are coming soon!
7. Making international expansion a reality. Just last week Voxburner, the youth insights consultancy arm of the business, took industry summit Youth Marketing Strategy to New York for the first time after 4 successful years in London. It was amazing to see so many of the world’s top youth brands in the room, including Facebook, Tumblr, Sony Music, ESPN, MTV and more. To see our products extend to another country is a very exciting step and will provide a great springboard to launch the Student Beans brand in the US and help us realise our ambitious plans for international expansion.
8. Proving the doubters wrong. Throughout our journey so far we’ve been lucky to have so many supporters and friends of the business. But as always, there were those who said our ideas would never work. Even when we were sleeping on the floors of friends’ places in Birmingham and James was getting rugby tackled whilst dressed in the infamous bean suit, we always believed in the idea and the values of our brand.
9. Working with so many great people in the business today. It’s said a business is only as good as the people that work there and that’s definitely true of The Beans Group. All our awards and accolades are a testament to the whole team and also to our friends and partners who have been part of our journey so far. We’re proud that our team members have joined us from the likes of JP Morgan, BBC, Ann Summers, YouGov and NME. Here’s to the next 9 years of delivering results that WOW, celebrating mistakes, creating fun, putting the cherry on the cake and showing that we care. If you want to be part of our vision to touch the lives of over 100 million young people every single day, check out the roles we’re recruiting for.